JJ Gottsch is the longest-tenured employee with Ryan Sanders Sports & Entertainment and has played a key role in the development of both the Round Rock Express (Houston Astros Triple-A) and Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros Double-A). He was promoted to his current position, COO, in January 2015. In this role he oversees all business operations for the Express, RS3 Turf, RS3 Strategic Hospitality as well as the company’s growing entertainment division. Gottsch was president of the Hooks for the club’s first five years, where his leadership and experience helped them draw more than two million fans in their first four seasons. Previous to his position in Corpus Christi, Gottsch served as assistant general manager for the Express during the first six years of the organization’s existence. Gottsch helped lead the franchise to record-setting attendance numbers, establishing a new Double-A home attendance record with 660,110 fans in the club’s first year, eclipsing the old attendance mark that had stood for 20 years. The franchise would proceed to break its own attendance standard in each successive season with Gottsch on board as a steadying influence. A former player, Gottsch’s professional career included time with the Butte Copper Kings in the Pioneer League and the Perth Baseball Club in the Western Australia Baseball League. At the collegiate level, Gottsch played for Creighton University as well as TCU, where he was a member of the Horned Frogs1994 Southwest Conference Championship and NCAA Regional team. He transferred to TCU after spending three years at Creighton, where he was a shortstop on the 1991 Bluejay team that advanced to the College World Series.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- How the values of the Ryan and Sanders family…which include trust, honor, and respect….drive the decisions and behavior of Ryan Sanders Sports and Entertainment.
- How they turned a consistent customer complaint about their experience at the ballpark into a new and prosperous line of business.
- Why JJ believes so strongly in the sharing of best practices with others
- How Ryan Sanders Sports and Entertainment got creative by having their employees wear different hats and do different jobs so they could execute on cutting expenses and creating additional revenue
- How they focused on continuing to add value to their sponsors in as many creative and unique ways as possible
- When COVID-19 hit, how they were able to serve their people as well as the community by identifying what they had (five major sports venues stocked with food and beverage) and what they needed (people’s inability to get what they needed at the grocery store) that could fulfill.
- How all of their service to the community has resulted in a tremendous amount of pride in working together to be a part of the solution to a major crisis.